I searched far and wide and talked to a lot of people before deciding on a couple of horses from Hashknife Tennessee Walkers. I wanted horses that my young children could ride. They would have to be gentle and patient. I also wanted horses that my children could grow into. In other words, they would have to be young and athletic, calm but not without spirit, tough but sweet, willing to run but content to walk and be well trained, obedient and easy to handle. So all I wanted was the perfect horse.
We could not be happier with our two geldings, Apache age 3, and Kiowa age 2. After having them for a few months I can see that as beginners with young children, it would have been foolish, if not down right dangerous, to have purchased any other horses. While we try to discourage unsafe behavior around the horses, every day we see these fine animals standing still while surrounded by the chaos three little kids can create. I have seen my 5 year old son run under Kiowa with the dog chasing him and get little more than a look from the horse. I have seen my 3 year old daughter run up to Apache and hug his leg. He just nuzzled the top of her head. I watched with amazement as Kiowa braced himself to allow my seven year old son James to climb aboard using anything he could reach including Ki’s mane. Every day, I am amazed at how sweet and tolerant they are.
As beginners, riding can sometimes be challenging. With these horses however, we are never afraid for our safety. When the element of fear is removed, learning thrives and confidence builds. James has gone from barely able to ride in a 30 foot circle to loping around our 20 acres. My wife, who had never been on a horse before, has no problem on the local trails. On the trail we have encountered deer, cows, motorcycles and dogs. On one narrow trail a dog came out of nowhere barking aggressively. Both horses calmly stared it down. They load and unload without incident even in the dark without a light of any kind (we found that out when we were out later than expected with no lights in the trailer and no flashlight). These horses are safe and sane to handle and ride. They are respectful of even the smallest child. They are sweet and gentle and of course they are smooth.
Dealing with and getting to know Brandon, Lisa and their boys has been a pleasure. From the beginning it was clear that they are honest and sincere. They are far more interested in our success as horse owners than in selling a horse. From the many emails full of questions to the weekends at their place, it could not have been a better experience. On a wind blown thirty something degree weekend, Brandon gave me a crash course in horses, horsemanship, riding, feeding, shoeing, training, saddles, you name it. We worked hard and had a great time. I went away feeling confident that we were going to be successful horse owners. We are well on our way now and we owe it to Brandon and Lisa. (number available upon request).
We had the pleasure of meeting Brandon and his family. We were interested in Tennessee Walkers and found Brandon by fate on a trip to Billings. His father Tex, and Brandon spent two days familiarizing us with the wonderful attributes of Hashknife and Hayhook Tennessee Walkers. After we decided to buy our TW mare Penny, Brandon worked with all of us for a day and one-half in a round pen and arena making sure we were comfortable with our new horse. He even went into town to help us purchase the correct tack. His help was very much appreciated. The entire Carpenter family made us all feel welcome.
Penny is a beautiful 3 year old mare. She has been a gentle, reliable horse. Soon after our purchase, we took her on a trail ride in the Big Horns. When we came across some downed timber, Penny’s feet became entangled. She calmly waited until someone came to assist. Keven took her several months later elk hunting. She remained calm when Keven shot an elk and helped haul the elk out without hesitation. She remains a calm, loving reliable horse that can be trusted in problematic situations. All of the dealings with the Carpenter family have been wonderful. They make us feel like family. It is without hesitation, that I would recommend any horse raised by the Carpenters and trained by Tex or Brandon. If you would like to confirm this reference feel free to call. (number available upon request).
Keven &Susan J.
We’d just like to thank Brandon for all the hard work he put into the horse we bought named Bailey. He’s such a sweetheart. Easy to catch, easy to work with, easy to ride, and very calm. Whenever we get a chance to ride him, which isn’t very often, it’s like he was just rode yesterday. In other words he’s a great horse and again we say thanks.
Kal, Tammy & Jeff B.
I purchased two horses from Brandon Carpenter in the fall of 2003. I had visited Brandon during the summer of 2002 on the advice of a friend. Hoping to buy a horse at that point in time, they had already been spoken for. I did get to take several rides with Brandon on his newly trained horses and was impressed with his training and training philosophy. I arranged to purchase two horses the following summer.
I am an orthopedic surgeon and in our region cars, motorcycles and horses are involved in serious injuries and deaths each year. I have owned two gaited horses for over eight years and there is nothing I enjoy more than riding mountain trails or the country. The horses I had were getting older and the one I rode would spook for no apparent reason and occasionally unload me. I was unable to change this behavior. I had been looking for new horses — the ones available were young and untrained or older horses with some kind of problem. Safety is a concern of mine and I am not a horse trainer so I contacted Brandon at Hashknife Tennessee Walkers. Brandon picked out two horses for me based on knowledge of my experience and riding ability as well as my son’s and wife’s ability. Brandon looks for temperament and conformation in the horses he raises or buys. He likes to do all the training — roundpen focused — so there are no bad habits to undo. He also shows the purchaser how to work the horse in the roundpen so the owner can have a proper relationship with the horse. Because I live close to Brandon, I got to see him take their first ride, see them get sacked out, roped from, feet roped, and untangle themselves from rope wrapped around them. Brandon works on lifting their feet, dropping off the back of them after sliding out of the saddle and crawling underneath them. He exposes them to everything he can think of.
When I took possession of my horses in October 2003, they had 20 to 30 rides on them. Brandon has been willing to talk to me on the phone and even go to where I keep the horses to work with me on problems that have come up.
I have also attended one of Brandon’s Roundpen Clinics. I have come to the realization that horses are very sensitive to the environment around them. Each time a human interacts with a horse, a training session is going on. The horse is either training the human or the human is training the horse. One has to provide consistent leadership which is a skill to be learned. Brandon’s horses have a good foundation. I had my horses at the veterinarian’s office which happens to be 100 feet from the railroad tracks. The horses were tied to the trailer when a train came by. Neither horse had seen a train before and one of the horses broke his halter. He started to run down the driveway. I ran around the pickup and told him to “face” (verbal cue plus the visual cue of patting the thighs) like we had done in the round corral or to catch him in the pasture. He came over to me and let me put my arms over his neck and catch him while the train rumbled by. That saved the horse from a dangerous run away. Brandon’s horses are trained to verbal, visual an physical cues.
My experience with Hashknife Tennessee Walkers has been a positive one. I have two great horses and I have learned a lot about myself and horse behavior.
I’ve waited my whole life for a horse like Hatha. I want to thank you for the fine horse that I purchased from you in 2003. I am very lucky to have met you and your family. As a horse trainer, your grounded energy reflects in my horse. She loaded well, traveled well and really enjoyed working cows last fall. Me being a novice rider, I didn’t stop and re-check my cinch when the saddle slid off with me on it. She just stopped, stood there and turned her head and looked at me. What a horse! She also did well on mountain trails. The training this horse has had was reflected this spring when I got on her for the first time. It was as if we’d never missed a beat from last fall. She responds to all of the leg cues, side passes, as well as neck reins beautifully. Before I purchased her, Brandon had me spend time with the horse to make sure our personalities were compatible. I highly recommend the Hashknife Tennessee Walkers or any horse trained by Brandon. Once I rode a Tennessee Walker, that was it. I’m hooked. I am so impressed with my horse and the training she’s had, we are purchasing another Walker from the Carpenter’s.
When I bought horses from Brandon he said, “you can find a cheaper horse, but you won’t find a safer horse.” That statement has proven itself true on many occasions….one time a friend was getting a little sleepy riding Piper in the Beartooth mountains. Piper jumped a little stream and my friend fell off. My friend was wearing hiking boots and both feet were hung up in the stirrups. Instead of spooking and running, Piper just stopped and waited for me to come and help my friend down. Another time another friend was riding Piper down a really steep, slick section of trail in Tom Miner Basin (north of Yellowstone National Park). Piper stopped and just stood still though my friend was encouraging him to go, just then the saddle slipped forward, my friend dumped off forward, and Piper just stood there looking down at him while wearing the saddle up around his neck. He calmly waited while I came over to help my friend up and adjust the saddle so I could lead him down to a flatter spot. Once while riding Trapper above Horseman’s Flats, he suddenly stopped and took a step backwards. I asked him to whoa. He did, and just stood his ground while I watched a bear cub cross the trail less than 10 yards in front of us. We waited a few minutes after it had passed and then continued on our way.
These and several other potentially dangerous instances have convinced me of the value of these “bomb proof” horses. Brandon asks rhetorically, “what’s a broken arm worth?” As an orthopedist I see a lot of “horse wrecks” in the emergency room and know well the cost of a rank horse.
Curt purchased a 2 year old filly and a 3 year old gelding from Hashknife Tennessee Walkers, and a 4 year old gelding from Hayhook Tennessee Walkers.
We want to tell you how well “Loner” our Tennessee Walker performs. We live on a ranch off Wildcat Creek in Wyoming. It is rough country with lots of miles to cover. Loner does this with no problem. He is a three year old and very quiet. Nothing upsets him and he is very loving. As I get older I really appreciate how smooth a Tennessee Walker is. Brandon Carpenters’ excellent training resulted in a horse we can use for anything at the ranch. Thanks from the H hanging T Ranch.
Dave & Rhoda T.
I purchased a Tennessee Walker from Brandon. Her name is Pepper. To be honest, she has been a hand full for me only because I am fairly new to horses. I consider myself an intermediate rider and by no means an expert. With Brandon’s help, I have been able to accomplish many things with Pepper. She likes to work cows. I can even rope off her (she is very patient with my beginning skills). I have ridden her in a few shows, taken her on trail rides, and this year she gave birth to a colt. I think I have learned more from Pepper and Brandon that Pepper has from me.
Safety is of prime concern to me as I don’t want to end up on the ground from the top of a horse at any time. Brandon incorporates safety proofing in his training using different techniques. One lesson is to teach the horse not to come unglued when tangled in a rope. Let me tell you why this particular lesson appeals to me…. Two years ago I was in a beginning roping clinic. I had just graduated from a breakaway honda to a regular honda and had roped my first cow. In a split second things went from good to bad to down right scary. The cow ran around Pepper and entangled us in the rope. The rope somehow got stuck under the skirts of my saddle and over the top of my boot making bailing off impossible. Many times Pepper had the opportunity to panic, but she didn’t. She stood still until help came to us. Thank you Brandon! The only bad thing that happened was I had to change my wranglers! I was definitely more terrified than Pepper.
Brandon has been very helpful to me through phone calls, lessons, and clinics.
I would never not own a Tennessee Walker. I know Brandon will always be there to answer my questions. Thank you Brandon!
Since our purchase of “Black Jack”, a 3-year-old Tennessee Walker, from Brandon Carpenter a year ago, we have been impressed with the attention that came along with the purchase.
Brandon has spent many hours with us at his place and ours after the sale helping us work with this young, but very well trained horse. Brandon has always been available when we had questions or concerns. If we were ever in the market for another horse, we would not hesitate to call Brandon.
Art & Susan M.
I want to let you know how much fun Karen and I are having with Image and Crystal. We are riding every day and advancing with the skills that you set us up with. The way you have trained Image for safety on trails, bred him with gentle manners and good looks, combining this with his beautiful gait, makes riding a wonderful experience every time and something to look forward to.
Coming in as an absolute beginner to being able to do all this is directly accredited to your patience, expertise, and skill, in giving us hands on training from the round pen to talking with us around the campfire on the trail.
On the trail there have been several times where Karen and I have been in situations we did not intend to get ourselves into. These two year old horses step up to the challenge like veteran trail horses every time. On one occasion we had to get around a blow down, as I was on the side hill going around the tree, I found myself standing with Image on very loose gravel (more like shale). As Image went down, both of his rear legs slid under small logs and the front legs were in the brush trapping him on the ground with me still on top of him. I talked calmly to him as I stepped off to the high side; he just lay there not moving a muscle. I patted his neck reassuring him that all was ok, then I made my way carefully to his feet helping him untangle. He patiently waited for my gentle cue, as if we have been thinking on the same wavelength for years. On cue, he got right up, as he stood there quivering a little, I game him many “good boys”, petting his neck, mounted, and continued up the trail. Image did fine, but inside I was in need of a little nerve repair myself just thinking of what could have happened. With your foresight and trail-training experience we have been so grateful to have purchased from you, taught by you, but most of all we value your friendship, and continued support.
I could go on and on telling of how well Image performs in the mountains and how well you have covered our safety concerns, but I want to say a few words about Image himself. First of all, the gentle way in which you trained him shows through all the time. I can tell that he has never been abused or mistreated which I really appreciate. Secondly, the eagerness that he expresses to please, makes me as a beginner able to continue training him and advance in my horsemanship skills in a way I never imagined possible. Both Image and Crystal have bonded with us and have become a real part of our family. Thanks to you and the horses, we have been able to get back into the mountains again.
This fall we thought a few riding lessons here locally with a qualified trainer would be a good idea to make sure we don’t fall into any bad habits. On the first lesson our teacher watched as we were riding around her arena with loose reins and a gentle touch with our hands and legs. After observing us for a while the first thing she said was that I should enter Image in shows because he is such a beautiful horse, responds so well with loose reins, and glides around the arena in such a smooth “running walk”. Other riders we meet on the trails also comment on the horses and admire them in much the same way. From being an absolute beginner this spring, to being told by a third party expert that I should “show my horse” has made my day. This is a direct tribute to you and the honesty of your family business.
We are looking forward to another weekend in the mountains this next summer with your family, your clients, and your alumni who we have also come to enjoy.
Larry & Karen W.